Surah Yunus (Jonah) 10 : 31

قُلْ مَن يَرْزُقُكُم مِّنَ ٱلسَّمَآءِ وَٱلْأَرْضِ أَمَّن يَمْلِكُ ٱلسَّمْعَ وَٱلْأَبْصَٰرَ وَمَن يُخْرِجُ ٱلْحَىَّ مِنَ ٱلْمَيِّتِ وَيُخْرِجُ ٱلْمَيِّتَ مِنَ ٱلْحَىِّ وَمَن يُدَبِّرُ ٱلْأَمْرَ ۚ فَسَيَقُولُونَ ٱللَّهُ ۚ فَقُلْ أَفَلَا تَتَّقُونَ

Translations

 
 Muhsin Khan
 Pickthall
 Yusuf Ali
Quran Project
Say, "Who provides for you from the heaven and the earth? Or who controls hearing and sight and who brings the living out of the dead and brings the dead out of the living and who arranges [every] matter?" They will say, "Allāh," so say, "Then will you not fear Him?"

1. Lessons/Guidance/Reflections/Gems

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Explanatory Note
 
The pagan Arabs, as has been explained, did not deny God’s existence, nor did they deny that He is the One who creates, provides sustenance for His creation and controls the whole universe. They simply ascribed divinity to other beings whom they considered to be God’s partners. They claimed that these were able to bring them nearer to God or that they had their own power, independent of God’s. Here the sūrah addresses them taking their own beliefs as its starting point. It aims to alert their consciousness and make them reflect, so that they can discard their ill- conceived ideas.

 Who brings down the rain which quickens the land and brings up the plants? Who produces all the crops, birds, fish and animals? Who provides people with everything they get from the heavens and earth for their own and their animals’ food? This is what they used to understand when reference was made to the provisions from heaven and earth. Reality however is much greater than this. Today, we can still discover new provisions that He gives us, and we can still uncover more and more about the laws of nature. People can use what God provides for them in beneficial or harmful ways, in line with their sound or false beliefs. They get their provisions from the surface or bottom of the earth; from water running in its courses on the surface of the earth or stored underground; from the sun with its heat and the moon and its light. Even the putridity of organic material contains something that is used in medicine to produce cures for diseases.
 
Furthermore, we are still learning something new about the nature of hearing and sight, and the fine complexity of both these senses, to make the question wider in implication. The structure of the eye and the optic nerve, and how the whole system works to define what is seen, and also the structure of the ear, its different parts and how it captures sound frequencies are extraordinary wonders, particularly when they are compared to the most sophisticated machines of our modern scientific achievements. Yet although man-made machines are insignificant as compared with God’s work, people still ignore the miracles of creation which are all around them in the universe and in their own souls.
 
People considered everything that was motionless to be dead. On the other hand, motion and growth indicated life. Therefore the drift of the question was clear to them: it was no different from seeing a plant coming out of a seed and a seed contained in a plant; a chick coming out of an egg and an egg produced by a bird; and numerous other cycles of creation. To them this was especially remarkable, and it remains remarkable even though we have come to know that the seed and the egg should be classified among the living on account of the potential life they contain. Indeed life potential, with all its hidden qualities, hereditary characteristics and unique features, is one of the most remarkable and wonderful things made by God’s will.
 
A pause to consider the phenomenon of a seed and a stone bringing forth a plant and a date tree, and also an egg and a cell bringing forth a chick and a human being, may lead to a whole lifetime of thinking and reflecting. Let us just consider where in the seed the roots, sticks, leaves and fruits lie hidden? Where in the date stone does the core, the bast, the tall trunk and fibres we see in the date tree hide? Where are the taste, flavour, colour and smell stored, and how do we account for what we see of the great variety of dates? Where in the egg do the bones, meat, feathers, colour, flapping of the wings and the singing of the bird hide? Even more remarkably, where in the female cell does the human being with all its complex characteristics hide? Where are a person’s features stored until they are transmitted by genes that gather their qualities from past and distant generations? Where do the distinctive qualities of every human being come from: the way he talks, looks, turns his head, feels things around him, etc. and the features and qualities that he inherits from his parents, family and race, as well as those that give him his unique personality?
 
Is it sufficient to say that this endless world of creation lies hidden in a seed, a stone, an egg and a female cell? Is this sufficient to end our wonder? There is no escaping the recognition that it is all done by God’s will and produced by His power.

Human beings continue to uncover some of the secrets of life and death, and how the living is brought forth out of the dead and the dead out of the living. At different stages, elements experience death or come back to life. All this adds to the great significance of the question asked here and its broader perspective. The food we eat dies as a result of cooking and exposure to heat, but it is then transformed inside the living body into blood, which in turn becomes dead waste as a result of body processes. The more we learn about this process the more remarkable it appears, and yet it continues during every moment of the night and day. Indeed life continues to be a great exciting mystery that poses for man a question he cannot answer unless he admits that it is God the Creator who gives life.

This question applies to all that has just been mentioned and to everything else, whether it relates to the affairs of the universe or to human affairs. Who regulates the great universal system that conducts the movement of all worlds in such a fine and elaborate manner? Who regulates the cycle of life and sets it along its finely tuned system? Who regulates the social laws that govern human life, without the slightest deviation from its course? The list of such questions is endless.

Since He is the One who provides sustenance, controls hearing and sight, brings the living out of the dead and the dead out of the living, and regulates all matters and affairs, should you not fear Him? The One who has all these attributes is indeed the true Lord who has no partners to be associated with Him.

2. Linguistic Analysis

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Frequency of Root words in this Ayat used in this Surah *


3. Surah Overview

4. Miscellaneous Information

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5. Connected/Related Ayat

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6. Frequency of the word

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7. Period of Revelation

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We learn from hadith the Surah was revealed in Makkah. But there are some people who are of the opinion that some of its verses were revealed at Madinah. This is however a superficial view. The continuity of the theme clearly shows that this does not comprise isolated verses or discourses that were revealed at different times and on different occasions. On the contrary it is from the beginning to the end a closely connected discourse which must have been revealed at one sitting. Besides this the nature of its theme is itself a clear proof that the Surah belongs to the Makkan period. [Ref: Mawdudi]

Some consider it to have been revealed after Surah al-Isra [17] and before Hud [11] – which would place it around year 11 of Prophethood.[Ref: Ibn Ashoor, Tahrir wa Tanwir]

8. Reasons for Revelation

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We have no hadith in regard to the time of its revelation but its subject matter gives clear indication that it must have been revealed during the last stage of the Prophet’s residence at Makkah. For the mode of the discourse suggests that at the time of its revelation the antagonism of the opponents of the Message had become so intense that they could not tolerate even the presence of the Prophet and his followers among themselves and that things had come to such a pass as to leave no hope that they would ever understand and accept the Message of the Prophet. This indicates that the last stage of the Prophet’s life among the people had come and the final warning like the one in this Surah had to be given. These characteristics of the discourse are clear proof that it was revealed during the last stage of the Movement at Makkah. Another thing that determines more specifically the order of the Surahs of the last stage at Makkah is the mention (or absence) of some open or covert hint about emigration (Hijrah) from Makkah. As this Surah does not contain any hint whatsoever about this it is a proof that it preceded those Surahs which contain it. Now that we have specified the time of its revelation there is no need of repeating its historical background because that has already been stated in Surah 6: al-An’am (The Grazing Livestock) and  Surah 7: al-A’raf (The Elevations).

9. Relevant Hadith

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